Monday, 31 December 2007

New Years Eve

It's New Year's Eve at Chez Szondy... and most everywhere else, I suppose.

See you in the new year-- hangovers permitting, of course.

Meantime, happy New Year from Ephemeral Isle.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

NEW! Future Fashion

For the style conscious, or unconscious, we present our new Tales of Future Past section:

Future Fashion

Furniture Department

At last, a pub table of both style and practicality.

I could have used one of these at the Spread Eagle back in '86.

Allah: Off Limits to Dhimmis

Remember that bishop who said that Christians should start referring to God as "Allah" to smooth things over with Muslims?

Malaysia responded by making it illegal.

Damned if you do, etc.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Final Sacrifice

We've all had to make sacrifices this year, so here's the final one.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Major Boothroyd, Call Your Service

The Swiss have come up with a concept car that is capable of operating underwater (sadly, it's open cockpit).

Once again, MI6 was there thirty years before.

Hello, Kitty "For-Men"

The Japanese are giving Hello, Kitty a more "macho" to appeal to "young men".

I don't think they've thought this one through.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Iran to Build 19 Atomic Reactors

Iran declares that not only will it never stop its uranium enrichment programme, but it plans to build 19 nuclear reactors.

Who are you going to believe; the NIE or your lying eyes?

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

The former prime minister of Pakistan is killed in bomb attack with fifteen others.

Not good.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Monday, 24 December 2007

Words of Wisdom

Star Wars Holiday Special

Everything that The Phantom Menace could have been and more.

Will Chewbacca get home for life day? Will Harrison Ford ever live this down? Has Harvey Korman no shame? Did Mark Hamill need the money this badly? And what is Carrie Fisher breathing besides oxygen?

WARNING! Bea Arthur sings!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

A Matter of Scale

Putting things into perspective.

Christmas Cheer

Passing on the gift... of caffeine.

Space Striptease II

A commentator on yesterday's entry said that Barbarella would do, if I didn't have Lt. Ellis. And it just so happens that I do.

James Burke slips into third place.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Space Striptease

I remember seeing this clip of James Burke doing a space striptease when it was first broadcast on the BBC... way too long ago.

Call me biased, but I somehow prefer this one.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

It's the Christmas season, so what could be more appropriate than the awe and majesty of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?

Caution: Do NOT watch this while sober.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Micro Nuclear Reactors

Toshiba announces that it is marketing micro nuclear reactors.

I'm definitely altering my plans to install a propane generator at Chez Szondy.

Raymond Burr, Commander Straker, Call Your Service

The Japanese Defence Minister claims that Japan's armed forces are inadequate to repel alien invasions-- by UFOs and Godzilla.

Broken Bulb Bureaucracy

From the Ministry for Wasting the Taxpayer's Money.

They'll be giving out directives on how to wipe our arses next-- after suitable official permission is obtained on the part of the wipee, of course.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Robby Christmas

If you're still doing your last minute Christmas shopping and have about ten grand to drop, then have a look at Fred Barton Productions for life size reproductions of Hollywood's most famous robots.

If I had a big enough house, I'd have the whole set lined up in the specially designed corridor leading to my office.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


New York Times headline:
The Giant Rat of Sumatra, Alive and Well
Doctor Watson was unavailable for comment.

Another Nail

Comedienne Jennifer Saunders is in talks to play Doctor Who in a one-off episode; the first time a woman has been cast in the role (not counting parodies).

According to the Sun,
TV bosses are keen to get a woman on board the Tardis for one of those shows.
Translation: We want fans of the show to know that we have no artistic integrity, we hold the character and format and their history in contempt, and that there is no depth to which we will not stoop for cheap, trendy "shock" value wherein we demonstrate nothing more profound than that we cannot differentiate between shock and flat-out bad taste. Oh, and we hate you all, too.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Design Flaw

This picture defines "back to the drawing board."

Dhimmitude in Minnesota

A tale of a Minnesota community college's "meditation room" morphing into a mosque complete with sex-segregated areas, literature that describes Christians and Jews as "enemies of Allah" and a college administration that refuses to investigate what it would never allow any other religion to do.

"Tolerance" is now synonymous with "cowardice", it seems.

The Mask Slips

A quote from Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute regarding global warming:
When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it. This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not.
It isn't often that the true face of these jumped-up little eco-Stalins is revealed so nakedly.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur

Sir Arthur C. Clarke turns 90 today.

Sends video message telling kids to get off his lawn.


The Spanish (Socialist) Economy Minister urges Spaniards not to tip too much.

Spanish waiters tell the Economy Minister what he can do with his urgings.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

The Shadow Strikes

Were you bitterly disappointed by the 1994 version of The Shadow?

It could have been worse-- Far, far worse.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Referendum? What Referendum

Gordon Brown signs the new EU constitution treaty. Joins fellow "leaders" in simultaneously giving away the shop and the people two fingers.

Zeppelin vs Pterodactyls

Back in the 1970s, Hammer Films planned a sci fi spic called Zeppelin vs Pterodactyls. Now, thanks to the wonder of the Internet, we have that long-lost film.

Kind of. Sort of. Not really. It's fun anyhow.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Vanishing Britons

The good news: British birth rates are above the replacement level.

The bad news: The British aren't the ones doing the breeding.

This century may see something historically unique happening in Britain and Europe; an entire civilisation quietly ceding its lands, its economy, its culture and its legacy to an alien people by default. Not through war or conquest, but through nothing more complicated than pure apathy and an unwillingness on the part of the people to perpetuate themselves.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Evolving News

BBC headline:
Human evolution is 'speeding up'
Prof. Xavier was unavailable for comment.

Three NEW Sections

Tales of Future Past proudly announces no less than THREE NEW sections:

Chavez Losing It

Hugo Chavez has decreed that Venezuela's time zone will now be half an hour out of sync with her neighbours.

He'll be ordering everyone to wear their underwear on the outside pretty soon.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Man in Space With Sounds

Over at Heino und Jerry in Uber Space you can listen to the "supersonic" soundtrack that played in the famous Bubbleator at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

This is a wonderful example of Future Past and I'm not just including it because I find the title of the track "Gayway to Heaven" somewhat ironic, given Seattle's current reputation in the sexual identity stakes.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Red Snow

Dark Roasted Blend has a look at great Soviet snow machines.

We are deep in Thunderbirds territory here.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Deep Hurting

To celebrate the opening of the Future Cinema, we present a special double feature: Century 21 Calling and The Space Children-- the MST3K versions, of course.

Friday, 7 December 2007

The Clue Phone is Ringing

Baltimore Sun headline:
Never so few veterans as now to remember Pearl Harbor day
Now why do you suppose that is, Sherlock?

Squirrel Armour

How to tell if you have way too much free time.

Made in Britain

One of the ironies of the Jihadists is that on the one hand they are spilling blood left, right and centre to impose a hopelessly puritanical society on the whole of humanity, yet the Jihadists in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are notorious for their drinking, drug taking, and whoring wherever they hold power.
Some of these men will admit they were insurgents who switched sides because they realized that they are more likely to get what they want with a stable government. Al Qaeda promised them everything under the baking sun, yet al Qaeda killed people who smoked—and Iraqis like to smoke. They killed people who had satellite dishes or televisions, but al Qaeda would be drinking and with prostitutes. Iraqis have told me some interesting anecdotes about the religious technicalities of prostitution. They are not supposed to have sex out of wedlock, so they marry the prostitute (and the house of ill-repute has the proper religious authority present to make the marriage), and then they divorce the prostitute after completing their business. Another rumor in the area is that al Qaeda tried to force shepherds to make their female sheep wear underwear.

The frightening thing about this is that it gives a better insight into the mind of Jihadist recruits in Britain and Europe better than all the blather about disaffection, foreign policy and the like. According to Mary Jackson at The New English Review, it isn't a question of potential Islamofascists rejecting Western culture, but of assimilating only the worst parts of it.

Don’t mess with us, they say. We know our rights. For Britain, once home to the stiff-upper lip, now has a rights culture. And British Muslims scream “Islamophobia” if they don’t get their rights: the right to special food or clothing in schools, the right to be spared any kind of real or imagined offense, the right to a job – on their terms, however unreasonable - and above all the right to welfare payments, which they receive in disproportionately high numbers.

These demands, this sense of entitlement, should worry us far more than niqabs, gangsta rap, or even drugs. Welfare scrounging is not peculiar to Muslims, but Islam alone demands tribute from non-believers in the form of a special tax or jizya. This “right” is set out in the Koran, as part of the rules of jihad. Muslim scrounging is an act of jihad, and payment of benefits an act of dhimmitude.
Or, as Mark Steyn put it:
More than three years ago, I wrote about the "tournante" or "take your turn" -- the gang rape that's become an adolescent rite of passage in the Muslim quarters of French cities - and similar phenomena throughout the West: "Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women -- combine with the worst attributes of Western culture -- licence and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of northern England areas are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort." Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old-school European totalitarianism. But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today's ideology of choice for the world's disaffected.
One of the disturbing truths of this war is that the real threat is not the enemy without or the enemy within, but the brutal fact that in a war of ideologies the West has ceded so much ground without a shot being fired. In a single generation we have dismantled so many of our vital institutions; spurned so many traditions; rejected high culture until only the transient ephemera of pop remains, turned our back on the faith of our fathers to the point where Christianity is often treated as something disreputable; swapped virtues for "values"; exalted the material, the carnal and the perverse without a moments reflection on what that means; sneered at innocence as naiveté; made chastity into a joke; promoted the most graphic of violence as entertainment in a manner that would give Caligula pause; championed tolerance above all else until it becomes an instrument of intolerance, divided race against race and sex against sex in the name of equality; and wallowed in irony until it has seeped into our souls that it is little wonder that so many second generation Muslims in the Britain and Europe grow up to be 7th century fanatics with 21st century vices or that even after six years of war we are still so ill prepared against these monsters. When you yourself reject the best and what is decent that your culture has to offer, don't be surprised if those that come after only assimilate the worst.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was getting ready to post the new Future Cinema section. So many of the films there have been dismissed in recent decades as "propaganda" and "Utopian" and (worst of all modern sins) "naive", but having reviewed a number of them over recent days, the conclusion I have come to is that, whatever their faults, our fathers and grandfathers lived in a time when people were given armour to protect them as plain, yet as strong as that of the first Crusaders, while ours provides us with gaudy crepe costumes that couldn't protect us against a cold east wind.

That allusion? It's from "An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which end with this from Holmes:
There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
That was in 1916 and that wind ended up blowing for a generation and beyond. I wonder how we will fare against this one.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

For the Man Who Has Everything

For the would-be Green Lantern on your Christmas list, we suggest this Power Ring complete with Battery.

Sadly, it's only a replica, but still...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Cats in Space

Finally, the space programme is paying off.

Islamofascist Paintball

From the Times:

The BBC funded a paintballing trip for men later accused of Islamic terrorism and failed to pass on information about the 21/7 bombers to police, a court was told yesterday.

Mohammed Hamid, who is charged with overseeing a two-year radicalisation programme to prepare London-based Muslim youths for jihad, was described as a “cockney comic” by a BBC producer.

The BBC paid for Mr Hamid and fellow defendants Muhammad al-Figari and Mousa Brown to go on a paintballing trip at the Delta Force centre in Tonbridge, Kent, in February 2005. The men, accused of terrorism training, were filmed for a BBC programme called Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic, screened in June 2005.

If this is how the BBC handles the war, I think I will panic, thank you very much.

Jet Hypocrisy

Seattle Post Intelligencer headline:
More than 10,000 jet into Bali for global warming conference
The irony of this is that those who are doing the jetting don't see any irony in it. That's because the restrictions and rationing that they're advocating are for us, not for them.

Remember: Peasantry is just another word for Green.

NEW! Future Cinema

Tales of Future Past proudly presents its newest section:

Future Cinema

Christianophobia & Phantom Turkeys

It had to happen. A Westminster debate over "Christianophobia" has recently concluded without this neologism being struck from the record nor the person who coined it being run out of town on a rail.

In related idiocy, the Conservative MP Mark Pritchard said,
Taking Christ out of Christmas is like serving the Christmas turkey without the stuffing.
Actually, it's more like serving the Christmas turkey without the turkey and pretending that it's still on the platter.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Email 1930s Style

It's a start.

Mmmmm... Ham

Thieves in Australia have made off with 17.6 tons of ham. Police are posting round the clock guards on all mustard, horse radish and cheddar cheese warehouses.

Al Qaeda is not suspected.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Half a Glass

Gillian Gibbons, the British schoolteacher at the centre of the Sudanese teddy bear row has been pardoned by the president of Sudan after meeting with two British Muslim peers.

While I am overjoyed that Mrs. Gibbons is safe and well, I am also disgusted that it happened because Britain tacitly acknowledged that mere Khaffirs are unworthy to make petition to so exalted a figure as the head of a state usually in the news for one of the worst cases of genocide in recent years.

Update: In related news, a British children's author has "got the message."

Two Cheers for Venezuela

Hugo Chavez has had a setback in his bid to be anointed king elected president for life of Venezuela after losing the "reform" vote that would have allowed him to hold office until 2050.

Note that I said "setback." With dictators like Chavez it is always a matter of "heads, I win; tails, we flip again."

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Not Seeing The Forest

Over at Spiked Frank Furedi looks at the new censorship of the Left. Many of his points are good, but his analysis is a perfect example of having one's nose too close to the problem.

There was a time when those who called themselves radical or progressive marched and struggled for the realisation of the right to freedom of speech. These days, so-called progressives are far more likely to demonstrate against the right of people that they don’t like to speak openly.

This is true as far as it goes, but what Mr. Furedi does not understand is that this is not a bug, but a feature. It's no paradox that elements of the Left once demanded free speech and now demand censorship, because free speech was never what they wanted. It wasn't censorship that the radicals or "progressives" objected to, only that they weren't the censors. The purpose of political correctness was never to avoid offending people, but to turn clearly defined words into meaningless euphemisms and to make every person look over his shoulder for fear of having committed thoughtcrime. The purpose of the new censorship is clear and obvious; to impose a new orthodoxy and to muzzle all dissent from the party line.

In other words; good, old-fashioned despotism.

The Thinning Wall

The Telegraph looks at the state of the Royal Navy.

It is not good.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Things to Come

For this week's sci fi feature we are proud to present Alexander Korda & H. G. Wells's Things to Come.